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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Music Review: Elise LeGrow - Playing Chess

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She’s not entirely new to the scene, having released a pop music EP in 2013. But Canada’s Elise LeGrow is now getting an international buzz, thanks to her sizzling debut album, Playing Chess . Working with soul legend Betty Wright, the Roots’ Questlove and members of the Dap Kings, who once backed Amy Winehouse, the 30-year-old Toronto singer puts a fresh spin on classic r&b songs from Chicago’s iconic Chess record label. She turns Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” into a wistful ballad, gives Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” a haunting rock edge and transforms Fontella Bass’s “Rescue Me,” into slow, sultry jazz. Already the album, released on New York’s S-Curve Records, home of Joss Ston...
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Music Review: Joss Stone - Water for the Soul

Music Review: Joss Stone - Water for the Soul
Joss Stone is best known for her 2004 debut The Soul Sessions , which paired her smoky vocals with a classic r&b sound. But the singer from Devon, England has been feeling the island vibe ever since meeting Bob Marley’s son Damien in SuperHeavy, the short-lived supergroup with Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart and A.R. Rahman. For her seventh album, Stone embraces a more global sound, dabbling South Asian percussion on “Stuck on You” and Spanish guitar on “Let Me Breathe.” There are still hints of her trademark soul on songs like “This Ain’t Love.” But she and Marley cook up mostly sunny reggae on the album’s 14 tracks. Their “Wake Up” duet is a dancehall-flavored warning about the power of subl...
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Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions Vol. 2

She was just 16 when her first album stunned the world music. How could a white English schoolgirl sound so much like Aretha Franklin? critics asked. The Soul Sessions , a collection of r&b covers, sold over five million copies. Much has happened to Stone nearly a decade on, including a Grammy win, recordings with Sir Mick Jagger, an attempted kidnapping and a starring role in TV’s The Tudors . Now a veteran at 25, Stone has revisited her debut’s concept. Her sixth studio album teams her up again with Betty Wright, the queen of Miami soul, and veterans like Ernie Isley. Together, they deliver blistering covers of such r&b classics as the Chi-Lites’ “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power t...
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